BFRB stands for body-focused repetitive behaviors, a set of disorders that include nail-biting, skin-picking, and hairpulling. They can be treated with therapy, but experts are hard to find, and therapy can be too costly for many people. Even if you do have a pro in your corner, your therapist can’t be there for you 24/7. I decided to create an app that can. Inspired by other self-help apps like Habitica, Migraine Buddy, and You Feel Like Sh!t, BFRB Buddy uses gamification to encourage regular use. Check-in quizzes and behavior logs help the user keep tabs on their condition.
To start off this project, I researched the demographics likely to be affected by BFRBs to create a user persona, Rebecca (1). Thinking about the user as a specific individual makes it easier to imagine how they might interact with the app. With Rebecca’s needs in mind, I sketched a flowchart (2) and storyboards (3,4) to envision how they might move through the app to achieve specific goals. After testing a prototype with a few real-life users and tweaking it, the UI design above emerged. One user reported that receiving experience points after checking in made him feel “like a boss.”